The distribution is the first step in an effort to gain feedback on the historic document, UNTAET said. Members of the East Timor Constituent Assembly began travelling to the territory’s 13 districts today to organize the public consultations, scheduled for 26 February to 2 March. The 88 Assembly members have been divided into 13 groups for the consultations. Each group will hold public meetings and write a report containing the public’s criticisms and concerns. Those reports will then be presented to the full Assembly for debate ahead of a final vote and signing ceremony on 16 March. The popularly elected Assembly will transform itself into the nation’s first legislature upon East Timor’s independence on 20 May.

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